Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Inter-faith report launched.

The Wales Inter-faith network launched its report on the Welsh scene - work funded by CDF, as was the Spiritual Capital research we did earlier in the year. The launch was held in the Senedd, with a lunch on the Lightship afterwards. I took Ben with me to give him the kind of experience of city ministry which he might not otherwise obtain elsewhere. We were welcomed by Mohammed Asgar AM, and Assembly Minister Brian Gibbons Spoke, as did Cardiff's Mayor, Kate Lloyd, and Robina Samuddin, an impressive young Muslim member of Cardiff Inter-faith.

I guess the purposes of such an occasion is to promote the value of building a community of understanding and interest between different faith communities and their members. That's a valid thing to do in its own right, as long as that's not seen as an end in itself. Faith communities all have important insights into life in the modern world drawn from the teaching and spirituality, and these need to be shared, not only among the religiously enquiring, but with all those who share in shaping the policies and directions civil society is taking into the future. Our local Spiritual Capital venture flagged this us, but simply hasn't been able to go far enough to sustain the process so far - but then I am very impatient, aware of how much I would like to have achieved by the time I retire in about eighteen months from now.

I would like to see faith communities in Cardiff and in wider Wales establishing new ways to express whatever consensus they can reach on tackling issues like climate change, poverty and deprivation (at home and abroad), and social inclusion (challenging racist, and anti-religious elements attempts to hi-jack the secular social agenda). The question of how to break new ground, when people involved seem to believe that enough is being done, is something of a preoccupation for me these days.

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